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Thread: NP249 to NP231 Swap Tips!

  1. #1

    Icon316 NP249 to NP231 Swap Tips!

    I just finished the NP249 to NP231 Transfercase swap in my '94 ZJ Limited 5.2! I thought I would let you all know what I ran into and how it went, for anyone thinking of doing this.

    - I found the NP231 in a 1993 Cherokee 6 cylinder - 5 speed at a salvage yard. I chose the NP231 because it is a little stronger and there are fewer parts inside so fewer parts to break. It is also much easier and cheaper to rebuild one if needed. It cost me $200 and I took it out of the jeep myself...all you need are the necessary tools, prybar, and a jack.

    - I did end up having to swap the input shaft, my old 249 had the longer style and the 231 had the short. I took apart the NP249 first so if I made a mistake it wouldn't matter. I took the input shaft from the 249 and put it in the 231, the gear cuts were the same.

    - The new t-case went in great! The only problem I had was with the linkage. I did not change the shifter tab on the 231. The stock linkage in my ZJ fit "almost" perfectly. First I had to cut the front part off the plastic slider that is around the t-case shifter in the cab to allow the shifter to move far enough forward. Then I had to grind away a peice of the metal gate/bracket to also allow the shifter to go far enough forward. The rod that connects the linkage to the tcase was a little too long to fully allow the case to shift into 2HI, even with the modifications made to the parts around the shifter. I simply cut it in half with a small cutting wheel and welded it back together. I only removed 1/16th to 1/4 inch of material...about the width of the cutting wheel. You do not need to be a good welder to weld it back together...or even have a good welder to do it with. Now it fits perfect!

    I did not have to adjust my driveshafts or anything else. I am really glad I went this way and did not try to fix the NP249. The ZJ goes down the road a lot smoother being able to be in fulltime 2WD. The only issue I still have is with the speedometer but I am working to get that straightened out...I think I may just need a different speedo gear in the t-case.

    Hope this helps anyone thinking of doing the swap! Feel free to email me with any questions. I also have a short, old style gear cut(I am assuming) input shaft if anyone needs one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004


    you're speedo from the 249 *should* swap right over. make sure it's indexed right it it will not work.
    -95' grand cherokee w/ 5.2. ARB & xd9000. IRO 4.5" w/ 33's. 8.8 & HP 30 w/ 4.10's both aussie locked and some other goodies.
    -97' grand cherokee w/ 4.0. stock.

  3. #3
    Registered ridindrtyZJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    u wouldnt know if i told u


    i need to do this in a very bad way. my 249 is tanking on me hard. i can hear the chain slipping anytime i take off. and the VC is completley shot. how do you tell the gear cut is the same or diff?
    94 Grand Cherokee ZJ limited. 5.2 40 series flowmaster,dayton timberline M/T. 31's

    SOLD! JEEPS=PROBLEMATIC,HECTIC, AND GARUNTEED TO GIVE U AN ULCER! thank god i got rid of it. :furious:

  4. #4


    I have read that when you have both input shafts out you can easily tell that the cuts are different. I know that sometime in '94 they changed the style. I have a '94 and it had the older style cut.


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